Takahiro Matsumoto, better known as simply Tak Matsumoto, rose to become Asia's undisputed number one rock guitarist of his time, mainly because of the success of his band B'z, although his solo and collaborative efforts played a viable role in establishing his reputation as well. Matsumoto developed his rock obsession at the start of high school, quickly moving from simply listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin to buying a Gibson Les Paul and practicing for ten hours a day. This devotion paid off, but it took years, during which Matsumoto spent some time impressing teachers at a music school and then working as a session guitarist with the '80s heavy metal/AOR star Mari Hamada and the pop/rockers TM Network. He didn't like it, because their sound didn't have enough guitars, but a single solo effort (Thousand Wave, 1988) showed him that it wasn't quite what he wanted, either. Then, together with the vocalist and lyricist Koshi Inaba, he founded B'z -- not the most hard rocking band to walk the Earth, but certainly one of the more successful ones, with sales exceeding 75 million CDs in the first two decades of its existence.